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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

February 2, 2012 - Running the Race

By Geff Mastro

Some time ago, my wife and I decided to train for a half marathon. We had both run cross-country when we were younger (I stress the word “younger”), but nothing like this distance. So we went out, got new shoes, some shorts, and started to train.

At first, it was difficult to just cover three miles on the treadmill. But s-l-o-w-l-y we built up endurance … and calluses … and made it up to five miles. Then, winter broke and we went out on the road. COMPLETELY different.

Over the next few months we built ourselves up to 10 miles on weekends, and, finally, a full 13. The day of the race came. I stayed with my wife and friends until about mile 3, then decided to pull ahead.

I made up ground quickly … until, that is, I hit mile 9. My joints started to ache, my breathing became labored, and I had to stop several times for brief walks. I have to admit, I didn’t think that I would finish, but somehow I did. Then, it was over.

In 2 Timothy 4:6-8, Paul talks about finishing the race. Or I should say, the race that God had given him to run. As I read over this very familiar passage, I was struck for the first time by some things that I was now intimately aware of. Paul’s race was not unlike the race that we had just run. He had to be prepared even when he didn’t particularly want to be. He had to keep his head when his focus was waning and he thought about giving up. He also had to endure hardships — many of them — to reach the finish line and prize that awaited him.

Had I not prepared myself properly, I couldn’t have made it to the end. Had I not endured hardships of training and put up with aching joints during the race, I would not have finished. Had I not kept my focus on the finish line rather than my pain and the desire to cry out, “But God, it hurts!” I also could not have made it.

And then, an even more staggering thought struck me: After I crossed the finish line it was over. There was no opportunity to go back and run the race again.

Although God has given each of us a little different race to run, many of the obstacles are the same. We all need to prepare ourselves, keep our heads focused and endure the hardships God has given us … because once it’s over, it’s over.

— Geff Mastro lives in a Burlington County, N.J., and is a licensed counselor and school psychologist. He attends Fountain of Life Center (AG) in Florence, N.J.



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